WASHINGTON (1/15/10)--The U.S. Census Bureau wants credit unions to know that data collected from the census and the American Community Survey will affect them because the census helps determine the distribution of federal funds. The bureau is encouraging credit unions to urge their members fill out the questionnaires. The Census 2010 questionnaires--which have 10 questions--will be mailed to households in March. A small percentage of questionnaires will be given at a different time to households in rural or remote areas. Some households also will receive the American Community Survey, which has replaced what had been known as the “long form.” Since 2005, the American Community Survey is the sample survey that has been sent out to roughly 1% of households. The American Community Survey asks for information about commuting patterns and occupations. The data can “define market areas for describing lending practices and effects of bank mergers,” said the U.S. Census Bureau. There are several ways census data are used that pertain to credit unions:
* Decision-making at all levels of government; * Attracting new businesses to state and local areas; * Forecasting future housing needs for all segments of the population; * Developing rural areas; * Planning investments and evaluating financial risk; * Publishing economic and statistical reports about the U.S. and its people; * Spotting trends in the economic well-being of the nation; * Establishing fair market rents and enforcing lending practices; * Understanding labor supply; * Making business decisions; * Understanding consumer needs; and * Determining areas eligible for housing assistance and rehabilitation loans.
The census is the largest domestic undertaking for the U.S. government, and helps determine the distribution of more than $400 billion in federal funds annually, said the Census Bureau. State Employees’ CU (SECU), Raleigh, said it will use media outlets to educate members on the census in the coming months. It is urging its members to “stand up and be counted” in the Census. “With more than $400 billion allocated to states and communities each year based in part on census data, it is crucial that all North Carolinians understand the benefits of participation to the state and its citizens,” said SECU. SECU has 1.5 million members and $18 billion in assets. For more information, use the links.